Business / Companies

Gezhouba bets big on green industries

By LIU WEI/ZHOU LIHUA (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-12 09:14

China Gezhouba Group Co, a company that worked on the construction of the Three Gorges dam, is aiming at the waste management sector to continue its growth, as overcapacity caps most of its current businesses.

Executives of the State-owned firm said technologies that use household waste to make cement and cinders for highways could become a cash cow for the Wuhan-based company.

The company spent 3 billion yuan ($447 million) to acquire environment-related businesses this year and its investment in emerging industries is set to surpass that in traditional industries, according to Nie Kai, chairman and president of China Gezhouba.

"The environment sector is set to be a critical arm for us in the coming years," said Nie.

He said the company is negotiating an acquisition with the biggest garbage disposal plant in Europe for waste management technologies.

In Xiangyang, Hubei province, a cement factory operated by China Gezhouba's subsidiary Zhongjiecaixin is preparing a large amount of garbage for reuse, using machines in a sealed space that rip it apart and categorize it.

Guo Chengzhou, general manager of the cement plant under China Gezhouba, said the technology is the only current method that can process garbage with no ash residue and additional pollution.

The company is approaching governments in other cities, aiming to apply the technique by acquiring cement plants, said Guo.

As a growing number of rural residents enters cities, local governments are eagerly seeking new techniques to deal with growing garbage, besides putting it in a landfill.

Zhongjiecaixin also uses a cement kiln to process urban household waste into alternative fuels or into a substitute raw material for making high-quality cement.

Facing the challenge of overcapacity in the cement industry, the company upgraded its equipment and technology to save energy and cut emissions. Now, it produces cement with better quality and lower cost than its competitors.

Guo said the company produces 26 million metric tons of cement a year without inventory, standing out from the dimming cement industry.

The company is planning to launch industrial parks to gather similar environmental technologies and to search for further research and development for its emerging businesses.

The world's first production line that recycles used tires to make rubber will be launched in Guangdong this year, according to Nie.

"China Gezhouba's environmental business is about combining new technologies with their existing equipment, which is an efficient and cost-reducing approach. The industry still needs government support to grow bigger," said Guo Yun, a researcher at the center for listed companies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

China Gezhouba now has eight businesses in the environment sector, including construction, investment, real estate, cement manufacturing, civil explosives, finance, equipment manufacturing and the environmental industry.

China Gezhouba has hydropower station projects in Angola, Pakistan, Laos, Indonesia and Argentina. Meanwhile, it is considering selling its domestic hydropower business.

Nie said about 20 percent of its investment is overseas. "China Gezhouba has a great reputation overseas."

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